Archtober (pronounced like the “arch” in architecture) is New York City’s annual Architecture and Design month in October that celebrates the city’s interesting infrastructure and its civic and international impact. Through various exhibitions, tours, activities and programs, this month-long event organized by the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), it seeks to educate the public about architecture and design in everyday life.

It is put together through the collaborative efforts of some of New York City’s leading cultural institutions and professional organizations. Here are 11 exciting events not to miss during the month-long event.

Tuesday, October 3: Great Architectural Bake-Off

After a successful bake-off last year at the AIA New York Chapter, this Archtober returns for a second year, bringing together New York’s top design firms to recreate the world’s most iconic buildings out of cake. Organized by WATG, Wimberly Interiors, and the Center, participating firms include SH NYC, Dattner Architects, and Grade New York, among others.

This event is free and starts at 4 pm. For more information on other participating firms how to register, click here.

Thursday, October 5: Archtober Goes Nordic

Rendering shown at last year’s event. Image via the Van Alen Institute

The Nordic Consulates General and Danish Cleantech Hub are hosting “Archtober Goes Nordic- Nordic and US Trends within Healthy Cities at Building Level .”The theme of this panel discussion will be how design and human health go together with a trans-Atlantic focus on making cities healthier to live in. The session will examine how Nordic Sustainable Cities- a flagship project in the Nordic Prime Ministers’ new initiative “Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges”- can complement building certifications such as Fitwel, and initiative by the Center for Active Design in early 2017.

This event starts at 4 pm, and will be held at The New School at 66 W. 12th Street.

Friday, October 6: History of South Street Seaport’s Architecture


Come explore the hidden history of South Street Seaport’s architecture at the South Street Seaport Museum. Called “Architecture of Trade: Schermerhorn Row and the Seaport,” the building tour will guide participants through Schermerhorn Row, one of the oldest warehouses in New York City, which is also the home of the Seaport Museum.

The tour goes up three floors that are usually closed off to the public to view selected artifacts from the museum’s private collection; there will also be a walkthrough of the hidden hotels and saloon rooms that were made famous by New Yorker writer Joseph Mitchell in his story “Up in the Old Hotel.” There will also be an exclusive guided tour to the fourth floor as well.

The tour starts at 12 pm, and tickets are $15. For more information, visit the website here.

Sunday, October 8: Walking Tour: Westside Story

Cover of the “Lincoln Square Slum Clearance Plan.” Image from New York Public Library.

AIANYC is touring Lincoln Center and examining the evolution of the cultural center. Learn more about the Lincoln Center’s origins during the mid-20th Century when “master builder” Robert Moses led its urban renewal project in 1956. Here you’ll hear about the designs and construction of the area created by some of the most iconic Modern architects of the 1960s, and how Lincoln Center was reimagined to be the place it is today.

This guided tour begins at 11 am, and is rain or shine. Registration is limited to 20 people. Learn more here.

Thursday, October 12: Housing: Left, Right, Center

The Parsons School of Design’s Healthy Materials Lab is holding a symposium to determine the transformative potentials of urban housing in America. Through the obstacles of population growth, climate change, degraded infrastructure, a material culture invested in greenwashing and inequities in economic opportunities, they make urban housing difficult to implement.

This panel discussion, complete with prominent architects, urbanists and theorists from across the country will discuss solutions to these central design and society issues.

The panel discussion will be held at The New School’s Starr Foundation Hall at 63 Fifth Avenue and starts at 6 pm.

Sunday, October 15: Industrial Waterfront Tour Into Freshkills Park

The AIANY will tour Freshkills Park to show its transformation from one of the largest garbage fills of the region. Patrons will ride on the aboard the Classic Harbor Line’s Yacht Manhattan to Staten Island to get a limited “backstage pass” to see the network of tidal kills and explore the cutting-edge landscape architecture and engineering, urban planning and industrial infrastructure of Staten Island’s North West shore. This project was part of an unprecedented land reclamation project that is about three times the size of Central Park.

The tour will begin at 1:30 pm with featured guide Eloise Hirsch, administrator of Freshkills Park and President of the Freshkills Park Alliance.

Thursday, October 19: Innovation Conference: The Future of Architecture in the Public Realm

Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island

Innovative architecture is expanding the boundaries of the discipline through design and technology. Join Architectural Record as it brings together key figures who are generating a range of creative solutions for the built environment today and into the future. This full-day conference will feature discussion such as “Augmenting the Urban” and “The Challenges and Opportunities for Design in the New Urban Century.”

Produced by Architectural Record, the conference will be held at Masonic Hall on 71 W 23rd St #1003, from 8 am to 8 pm. Register online here.

Saturday, October 21: Everything Water 4.0: 5 Years After Sandy

Nathan’s Hot Dogs closed on Coney Island after Hurricane Sandy

The AIANY is hosting “Everything Water 4.0: 5 Years After Sandy,” an event that will explore the role of water in our lives. Water is something that can help, but also hurt us, as was exemplified with Hurricane Sandy back in 2013.

The day-long symposium will focus on issues surrounding water resources and understanding how to alleviate the devastation that this vital resource is capable of at the local, regional, national, and international levels. The speakers and panelists will discuss various ideas to tackle broad urban responses and water-related disasters to risk and security and imaginative solutions to future challenges.

This event will be located the American Institute of Architects New York, and starts at 9 am.

Tuesday, October 24: Behind the Scenes Walking Tour of New York at Its Core

new-york-at-its-core-exhibition-museum-of-the-city-of-new-york-400-years-of-nyc-historyNew York At its Core Exhibition opens at Museum of the City of New York. Photo by Filip Wolak courtesy MCNY

Get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum of the City of New York’s permanent, landmark exhibition New York at Its Core, providing an in-depth account of New York’s 400-year history. Join Wendy Evans Joseph, architect and designer of the exhibition, who will lead the tour of the award-winning galleries.

The tour will start at 6:30 pm at the Museum of the City of New York.

Sunday, October 29: Never Built New York: Curator’s Perspective with Special Guests

The co-curator for Queens Museum’s Never Built New York exhibition, Sam Lubell will discuss the process of putting together the exhibition from conception to implementation. Speakers will also include Joshua Jordan, the director of the Fabrication Lab and Christian Wassmann, the principal at Studio Christian Wassmann.

The discussion will be at Queens Museum and starts at 2 pm.

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Tuesday, October 31: Around Manhattan Boat Tour: Bridges, Infrastructure, and the Evolving City

Based on AIANY’s signature Around Manhattan Architecture Tour, this three-hour, full circumnavigation around Manhattan will reveal the stories behind the iconic bridges and infrastructure that support the city’s architecture.

As an archipelago, New York City is shaped by engineering marvels we take for granted everyday: bridges and tunnels, rail and roadways, power and water supply, and waste disposal systems. John Kriskiewicz, professor of architectural history and planning at Parsons, offers insights and historical anecdotes that bring the story of the city’s development and vital infrastructure to life.

Complimentary drinks and snacks are also provided. The tour starts at 1:45 pm, and will meet at Chelsea Piers (Pier 62). Register online.

See Archtober’s full calendar line-up, and get the low-down on other exhibitions and buildings to see during this month-long program. Also, be sure to check out 17 Art Installations and Exhibits in NYC Not to Miss in October.